Job Applicant Employer Checks

Right to work in the UK

You must check that job applicants are allowed to work in the UK before you hire them. 

You can be fined up to £20,000 if you cannot show evidence that you checked an employee’s right to work in the UK. 

EU citizens and their non-EU family members  

EU citizens and their families will need to apply for settled status to prove they can work in the UK after 2020. Documentation proving they can currently work in the UK will be valid until 31 December 2020. 

Criminal record checks 

You can request a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for someone applying for a role. Certain roles are eligible for a more detailed check, for example in healthcare or childcare. 

Unless you’re eligible to check someone’s spent criminal record for a job, it’s against the law to refuse to employ them because of spent convictions

Health checks 

You can only ask successful candidates for a health check before hiring them if: 

  • it is a legal requirement, for example eye tests for commercial vehicle drivers 

  • the job requires it, for example because your insurers need health checks on cycle couriers 

You should include information about any checks in your offer letter, and get written consent before asking for a report from a candidate’s doctor. Candidates can demand to see the report, and ask for it to be changed or withheld from you. 

You must make sure checks do not discriminate (for example by targeting them at certain age groups only) or discourage people from applying for the job.  

You can be prosecuted if you discriminate against a candidate because of a disability that does not stop them from doing the job. 

Data protection 

You must follow data protection rules when handling information on job applicants. 

For further information: